Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 69
rivatives and sugar alcohols such as lactitol, sorbitol and
maltitol. However, the evidence for these, especially in
humans, is not as advanced as it currently is for FOS and
GOS, according to ISAPP.
This growing list of potential prebiotics and a revision to
ISAPP's position on them has the potential to create confusion in the marketplace, according to Michael Bond, global
product line leader-fibers, DuPont Nutrition & Health.
In June 2017, ISAPP issued a consensus statement on
the definition and scope of prebiotics. This consensus statement included a revision to the definition of a prebiotic to
"A substrate that is selectively utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit." Previously ISAPP defined
prebiotic as "A non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth
and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the
colon, and thus improves host health."
Under the former definition, prebiotics were typically
carbohydrate oligomers or polymers (oligosaccharides
and polysaccharides) that frequently exhibited fiberlike properties, Mr. Bond explained. "This latest definition expands the concept of prebiotics to include noncarbohydrate and bioactive substances that may impact
the microbiome in a way that confers a health benefit
upon the host," he said. "This expanded definition has the
potential to create confusion with consumers and regulators just coming to terms with the principle of prebiotics."
All prebiotics are classified
as fiber, which is the
indigestible portion of
plants. But all fibers are
And, until June 14, there was also an issue with the US
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s open ticket on
defining fiber. Most prebiotic fibers were yet to be recognized by the agency as fiber ingredients. That confusion
has been cleared up.
The final guidance published in the Federal Register
specifies that inulin and inulin-type fractals, including
chicory root fiber; high-amylose starch (resistant starch
2); polydextrose; mixed plant cell wall fibers, including
sugar cane fiber and apple fiber; arabinoxylan; alginate;
galactooligosaccharide; and resistant maltodextrin/
dextrin are now recognized by FDA as fiber. The announcement followed various petitions, many with likeingredient suppliers joining together to request the addition of beneficial non-digestible fibers to FDA's initial
definition of fiber, which was issued on May 27, 2016.
Even with the new ruling, there remains a void because the term prebiotic is not federally regulated nor in
the queue to be. Further, specific prebiotic health benefit
claims require strong clinical substantiation to gain approvals from regulatory authorities.
"Prebiotic content claims remain relatively unregulated with manufacturers free to claim prebiotic based
on existing scientific opinion because there is no definition in the legislation," Mr. Bond said. "However, the
specific claims around health outcomes potentially associated with prebiotics are heavily regulated, and, as such,
claims language is rather limited to digestion, digestive
health and regularity, which are also associated with fibers, and hence the perceived lack of differentiation."
Fortifying baked goods
Baked goods are naturally ideal platforms to deliver prebiotic ingredients. Consumers can associate some baked
goods with healthful cues like fiber and whole grains.
Scott Turowski, technical sales manager, Sensus
America Inc., said that perhaps the biggest benefit of
prebiotics vs. probiotics in baking applications is their
ability to withstand high temperatures.
Sensus offers a full line of chicory root fiber ingredients, also known as inulin, that provide a variety functional benefits. Extensive clinical research has shown
that chicory root fiber selectively stimulates the growth
of the beneficial bifidobacteria, leading to decreases in
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